Pistol Pete

10+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2008
71
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Pre-Veterinary
As a first time CVM applicant, I've been reviewing the feedback from those that interviewed in the past at the various schools. I am comfortable with most all of the questions except "What will you do if you don't get in vet school?". I'm struggling with this one and here is why, I have seriously considered applying to medical school but in my heart of hearts, I know veterinary medicine is my first love.

My GPA can't go any higher but I certainly could gain more experience by taking a job in the Animal Science or veterinary field. I'm just not sure how adcom's would react when admitting consideration of medical school. Don't get me wrong, I want to be a vet but I'm not inclined to wait multiple years post graduation.

Maybe my answer just needs to be generic or vague. Certainly with all the driven people on this board someone, besides me, is tormented by this question.

I guess I'm asking those of you who have sat in front of the panel and said something other than "I'll keep applying until I do get in ...somewhere."

Anybody answered, "I'll apply to medical school!" Whew...that seems risky.

Pete
 

VAgirl

UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2007
1,709
3
Davis, CA
Status
Veterinary Student
As a first time CVM applicant, I've been reviewing the feedback from those that interviewed in the past at the various schools. I am comfortable with most all of the questions except "What will you do if you don't get in vet school?". I'm struggling with this one and here is why, I have seriously considered applying to medical school but in my heart of hearts, I know veterinary medicine is my first love.

My GPA can't go any higher but I certainly could gain more experience by taking a job in the Animal Science or veterinary field. I'm just not sure how adcom's would react when admitting consideration of medical school. Don't get me wrong, I want to be a vet but I'm not inclined to wait multiple years post graduation.

Maybe my answer just needs to be generic or vague. Certainly with all the driven people on this board someone, besides me, is tormented by this question.

I guess I'm asking those of you who have sat in front of the panel and said something other than "I'll keep applying until I do get in ...somewhere."

Anybody answered, "I'll apply to medical school!" Whew...that seems risky.

Pete
Well, first off, "I'll keep applying until I get in," if that's the entirety of one's answer, is a poor answer anyhow. You need plans to keep improving, just applying over and over won't cut it.

Second, could you approach this from your love of medicine? You could talk about how medicine is your passion and you will keep working towards entering the field. And then discuss some specific plans you have for gaining additional experience. There are some experiences that are nice cross over areas between human med and vet med, too, like zoonotic diseases, public health, etc. You could look to gain experience in those, which could work in either direction for you.

My 2 cents...don't talk about how you're considering applying to medical school. They don't need to know. Maybe it wouldn't hurt you to say it (though I think it would), but I don't see how it could possibly help you.

Another take on it...if vet school thought you needed improvement, one could assume med school adcoms might also think you needed improvement before entering human medical school. To that end, you'd need a plan for improvement. That's the angle to focus on in your interview prep.
 

Pomona2006

UC Davis SVM c/o 2013
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May 5, 2008
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www.lifeinvetschool.com
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I think you see the issue in responding so honestly about your thoughts/plans. I think that what they are looking to hear (and perhaps especially from first-time applicants) is whether this is a one-shot deal for you. If they hear that you plan to abandon the field, then your commitment to the field is questionable.

I think you need to ask yourself whether or not you would apply again next year or just throw in your cards and go for med school. If you would apply next year (even in addition to med school) then I think you can say honestly that you plan to apply again (although I would think that you should say something you want to get involved in to improve upon your app). Even if next year you wanted to apply to both med and vet schools, you don't have to tell them about adding med school to the possibilities.

In my opinion, honesty is good (but too much information can get you in trouble in that people don't always know what you mean or what your thought process is) - and if you really don't think there's much to improve upon in your app, then you can always say that you plan to do post-mortem interviews with schools so as to determine what you should focus on for next round. I don't see any harm in that. :)

Good luck!
 
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cozycleo

10+ Year Member
May 7, 2008
172
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Agree with the previous posts. Not that I've applied yet, but I've been thinking about this as well. My 'Plan B' is laboratory sciences and possibly a masters in public health. So I guess my answer would be geared toward the public health arena.

I wouldn't necessary mention medical school, but maybe find a way to make it clear that you plan to pursue some avenue of the industry. I think it would at least show your dedication.
 

Meggie1985

Ohio State Univ CVM 2013
10+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2008
25
0
Columbus, OH
Status
Veterinary Student
Yesterday one of my profs, who is on the board of admissions at Ohio State, told our class to NEVER just say "I'm going to keep on applying year after year until I get in". In his words, "it just looks desperate", and it's not very realistic. You need a plan "B", a clear vision of how you're going to improve yourself as an applicant AND what alternate career you might pursue.

:) Good luck!
 

Pistol Pete

10+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2008
71
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
"you can always say that you plan to do post-mortem interviews with schools so as to determine what you should focus on for next round."


Good advise and a logical answer ... I can sleep better now!

Thanks

Pete
 

sumstorm

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2008
3,331
17
NC
Status
Veterinarian
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as interviews are rolling in for other applicantss.

I am a non-traditional, 7 years out of undergrad, completing my last pre-req next spring (animal nutrition.) I have significant animal experience (including professional training, ethology research, etc), zoo & wildlife vet experience, farm vet experience, pet experience, and some amazing research in international zoology (including intense solo travel.) My references are strong and diverse (NOAA research manager, zoo vet, pet vet with current supervisor, and honors research mentor/professor.) Any school I apply to is at least 4 hours from any family member, including my husband.

I don't think there is much I can realisticly do to improve my application. The only real alternative for improvement I can see is pursueing a vet tech degree, which has it's own issues (the nearest school would require me to retake all my basic courses since mine are over 5 years old) and the online programs take 3 years. Med school admissions are not as competitive (mostly because there are more spots available.) My interest in vet school is research on diseases. So I do plan on answering that I will apply again next year after post-mortems, but that I will also apply to medical schools and to PhD programs (I am applying jointly this year) to start research in diseases that cross species.
 

EqSci

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2008
449
1
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Veterinary Student
The only real alternative for improvement I can see is pursueing a vet tech degree
FYI, from what I've read on this forum, I think this is generally viewed as detrimental to a vet school applicant.
 

HopefulAg

Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2007
2,378
18
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Veterinarian
Hrm, why is that? I've gotten that same impression and wonder if that's just a rumor or does it have validity to it?

I'd think a vet tech license would bolster one's application rather than be detrimental to it.
 

purplebunnie

kicking the coke machine
10+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2008
46
0
Ithaca, NY
Status
Veterinary Student
Haha, I got that question at Ohio.

Luckily, I had thought it through honestly before I had even finished the applications.

My first answer for them was that it would depend on why I didn't get in. Also fortunately for me, being my first interview, this forced them into giving me application feedback I could use for the rest of my interviews.

They asked me to explain further, and first I answered that if it depended on my GREs (which one quickly inserted that it would NOT be the case) that I likely would not take them again. At this point in my career, I feel I have put my best foot forward on a standardized test, and would not be to my benefit as a person to stress about that any further. So, right off the bat, I knew I was ok there.

Then I answered that if it depended on my animals hours (again, one inserted DEFINITELY not) that after being a full time vet tech for four years, in addition to my alternative experiences, if my animal hours weren't sufficient, then at this point in my life, another year of repeating my same career would not teach me anything dramatically more about being a veterinarian. And I knew I was ok there too.

Then, I mentioned my grades (which I knew were the weakest part of my application) and the interviewers both leaned forward, (and that honestly was all the application feedback I needed) and I told them that I would consider graduate school. However, I told them, I thoroughly enjoyed the graduate research I had already been involved with. Pursuing a graduate degree is something I am qualified for at this time, and there's a chance I would find an area where my talents and skills fit in nicely. So overall, I told them, I might reapply, but I felt a halfhearted commitment to a graduate program would cheat the primary investigators counting on my work as well as the graduate degree hopefuls that I would take a spot from.

Wow, this is a long winded answer. In short, review your application critically on your own. You should know your strengths and weaknesses pretty well at this point (as I'm sure we all beat our strengths to insignificance and focused on our weaknesses!) give yourself some credit, and should be prepared to identify other options. If you have seriously thought out your alternatives and can discuss them intelligently and confidently, your interviewers may score you higher than someone who claims no, I'll reapply over and over and over again until I get in if that is what it takes. It also helps to be able to clearly answer what other jobs you can do as a veterinarian, and mention an interest in one of these other fields to pursue in the year if you do decide to reapply.
 

VAgirl

UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
10+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2007
1,709
3
Davis, CA
Status
Veterinary Student
Hrm, why is that? I've gotten that same impression and wonder if that's just a rumor or does it have validity to it?

I'd think a vet tech license would bolster one's application rather than be detrimental to it.
Fly on the Wall addressed this somewhat the other day. It sounded like the concern was that a RVT might feel they knew it all and be harder to train. So if one was an RVT, that it would be important to emphasize the fact that (s)he was interested in delving more deeply into the medicine and looked forward to the many and varied learning opportunities that vet school offers. (Paraphrasing.)
 

HopefulAg

Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2007
2,378
18
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Veterinarian
Ah, yes, I do remember that post now.

Admittedly, I would be greatly concerned about an RVT thinking they knew it all as well. That's like a nurse thinking they're a doctor.
 

Jochebed

Ye Must Be Born Again
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Aug 3, 2008
203
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My answer:

I'd certainly reapply again. But in the meantime, I'd go back to the hospital I'd been working at as a technician and start taking classes to become a certified veterinary technician. I'd also consider retaking any courses in which I might stand a chance of improving my grades. I'd look into more varied experience (large animal, equine, research).

Mostly they just want to know that you HAVE thought beyond the interview and the possibility that you might not get in, that you have an understanding of what they are looking for in reapplicants (efforts for improvement), etc. Don't let it trap you.

BUT if you really don't want to do medical school and veterinary school is your ultimate goal, then stick with that. How dedicated can you appear to be to veterinary school if one or even 2 or 3 rejections will turn you away and cause you to apply to medical school? If vet school is what you want to do, commit to it and start thinking of veterinary things you could do to improve your application.
 

mistifical

VMRCVM 2012
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Jan 19, 2007
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When I first decided to go into medicine, I chose vet med. At some time during working as a tech and taking prerequisites, I had considered going to medical school. There was even a point where I actually considered med school above vet school. In the end, it came back to vet school (how could it not)... I applied to several schools and told myself that if I didn't get in, and if I didn't get interviews, that I would reconsider and potentially apply to both the following year. Even though I didn't get in, I did get and interview and I was placed on two waitlists...

I guess that once I realized that I was good enough to get an interview that it was certainly worth going through the application process again since I had a lot more confidence in myself and that I was worthy of this.

What I am trying to say is that, if you get to the interview phase of an application, I don't think you'll necessarily be telling yourself that your back up plan is medical school and that this may really be the profession for you and that you could really be good at this and be happy as a veterinarian.

My back up plan was to apply to med school. But my interview offer and being placed on alternate lists really solidified that I DID NOT want to be an MD and that I had chosen the correct field. Maybe if you get a vet school interview, thoughts of med school will just disappear and your back up plan will be to focus on improving your vet school application.

Sorry if I'm rambling, but today was the last day of class for the first semester and that means wine (of the boxed variety due to my budget) is more than acceptable.
 

HandD42

ISU CVM C/O 2014
10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2008
391
0
Iowa
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Veterinary Student
My first answer for them was that it would depend on why I didn't get in. Also fortunately for me, being my first interview, this forced them into giving me application feedback I could use for the rest of my interviews.
I think this is probably the best way to deal with this.

For me personally I am applying to vet school with the intention of obtainign a DVM/PhD. So if I don't get in I will apply to grad school and obtain the PhD first. I would just rather be doing it in conjunction with a DVM because I think it will open some doors that would otherwise be closed.

However if the adcom comittee said well, you did't get in because your GRE score was too low then it is silly to do anything other then retake it and reapply the following year.
 

LoveTheMICES

DVM
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Dec 5, 2008
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Manhattan, NYC
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Post Doc
Hmmm, this sounds like a good plan. I am struggling with whether to apply for a PhD or a research concentrated DVM degree. So confusing....

sorry I know this doesn't help, I just had to add my 2cents.
 
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